Monday, May 25, 2015

Bed bugs and mispronunciation

 Super neat experience this week. 

And... super not neat experience this week. 

But neat experience first. 
There is a family that some other sisters taught and the mom got baptized, but the dad didn't because they're not actually married and can't afford it... whatever that means. But. They're like super ghetto. Like I'm wicked uncomfortable around them and Sister Layton was all like "We need to go have a lesson with them. " And I'm all, Sister, please no. I'm gonna die. And of course we went because she's the boss. And we sat in their living room and I didn't even notice until after when Sister Layton pointed it out to me that they were totally expecting us, like they had the living room arranged for our visit and everything. And then the mom sat down and first thing she did was pull out her scriptures and her eyes were just sparkling and full of light. And it hit me really freaking hard like a friggin truck or something that this isn't my gospel. This isn't my work. This is the Lord's work and I'd better get out of the way. This lady whom I'd been judging hard core was so ready to hear the message we had for her and she NEEDED it from us. So yeah, that was awesome. 

We also think they have bed bugs. Which like, please Heavenly Father, don't do that to me. My face is already breaking out because it's SUUUUPER dry here, I don't need bed bugs. So as much as we want to continue teaching this family, we're trying to not get bed bugs. Pray for me. Lol. 

But we finally got Spanish elders in our ward! yay! No more lame Spanish from Sister Pipkin lol. 

So, I always thought "Pipkin" wasn't that hard of a name to pronounce. Apparently, I was wrong. Every little kid we come across calls me "Sister Pickin". It's adorable. But some of the missionaries in my zone call me Pimpkin. Like, you gusy. There's no "M." Pip. Kin. But it's fun. 

Look at this cute photo of me and my comp and the other sisters in our district in these awesome construction vests at a service project. We didn't even do anything besides cheer people on while they ran a 5k lol, but we got to wear them for like .5 seconds. 
We also helped a sister sort laundry, and we called the mountain of laundry Mount. Oxy (because she uses Oxyclean lol) Her daughter, Liz, is the one that struggles the most with my name. She's four and super fairy-adorable. 
And this other photo is of us and some activity day girls at their activity last week. Such fun little kids. 

Also, there's this new elder, fresh from the MTC. He's from New Zealand and Elder Nawahine, his trainer, thought it would be fun to make me think his new baby doesn't speak English. And I totally fell for it, like I was like what the crap, how am I supposed to talk to this kid. They had me convinced he speaks the language of Love. I THOUGHT IT WAS LIKE A NATIVE NEW ZEALAND TONGUE OR SOMETHING.  
Lol @ Sister Pipkin. 
The kid speaks perfect English, obviously, and now that joke will never die. Ever. They'll come to my wedding and STILL be making fun of me. 

-Sista Pipkin 

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Greenie take the wheel

This week, I was cleared to drive and assigned to be the designated driver.


Because Sister Layton got a speeding ticket. 


It's actually not that funny, because $154 is a lot of money, especially for a poor missionary. The funny part, however, is that the trainee (me) is driving. But it's also kind of a blessing. We have lots of stuff we have to do throughout the walk and walking everywhere just ain't gonna cut it, so I'm grateful that they cleared me to drive. 

An amazing family that we have in our ward are the Chans. They're a Chinese couple that we absolutely love. He teaches the Gospel Principles class and they own the Subway in the mall. They feed the missionaries free sandwiches and a drink every P-day and Brother Chan draws pictures of the temples. This last week, we had heart-attacked their car in appreciation for their service to us. In Gospel Principles, Brother Chan said, "Oh you girls, I'm gonna get you back!" So we were expecting something scary to happen! On P-Day last week, he walks up to us with these huge posters of the drawing he'd done of the Cardston Alberta Temple. So beautiful! We love them. I decided I had to get a photo of us and them in front of their license plate before they leave because they're Asian and it says "Chopstix"! Sister Chan added the actual chopsticks to the photo, and it all just turned out marvelous. 

We lost two investigators this week, which was really sad. We felt like they would have done really awesome in the gospel!... if they would have kept their commitments. I guess it just isn't their time, but they will receive the gospel some day! The Lord will prepare them! 
But the Lord provides, because we got two new investigators! It was so awesome, they both are neat people and I can't wait to continue teaching them. We had an awesome lesson with one of our previous investigators on the Plan of Salvation. What really got her was the understanding that she is a loved daughter of God. I can't express to you how important that is! We are His children and He LOVES US!!! Isn't that awesome?! 

We had plenty of opportunities to do service this week. One of them was helping out at a 5K/10K. It was neat and we got to wear construction vests! It's such an awesome experience to be able to serve others. It helps us forget ourselves and do the Lord's work! I love it!
I encourage each of you to find ways that you can serve others this week, whether it be something as simple as holding the door open for someone, or something as big as helping your neighbor de-junk her house. Which is something we've done this week, so I understand. 

I love you all so much and I'm so grateful for the support you give me. Keep on keepin' on! Love you!

Signing off,
-Sister Pipkin

Sister Kolkova from the Czech Republic

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Momma Bear in the big blue house

This week, I went tracting for the very first time. 
Crazy, right? You'd think I'd have done that already in the four weeks I've been in Canada. But we're so slammed with less-active work that we've not had the chance until this last week. And boy, was that an experience. The very first house we tracted at was this big, ugly, blue house. And I was like, Dude, Sister, this house is atrocious. But we knocked anyway. And she was not happy to see us. And that's when we deemed this unhappy lady the nickname, Mamma Bear in the Big Blue House. We only knocked on about four doors before we had to head home, and they were all dead-ends, but hey, I can now say that I've tracted haha. 

Cool story. Some of the elders in our area texted us asking if we could help them with a service project, moving a lady into our ward boundaries. They sent us the info, and it turns out that this lady is actually a referral we got this last week from our ward mission leader and she's less active, but trying to come back to church. We contacted her and she'd said she was moving, but didn't need help, so it was awesome that this whole thing worked out. This way, we can help her out and hopefully reactivate her and her two boys! It's neat how the Lord does things to get His work done. 

We've done lots of service this week. Helping members clean their homes to surprise their moms for mother's day and helping other members prepare to move. It's been a real learning experience, and quite humbling. Cleaning is such an awesome way to serve others and to build a relationship with them. I encourage you all to try it out! 

This week has been really busy, but nothing too exciting has happened. We went to Calgary for a re-training meeting and that was really neat. President Nicholas and the assistants, Elder Kelly and Elder Smith, are super awesome and they are awesome with their leadership callings. We learn so much from they every time we are taught by them. 

One thing I wanted to share with you all was what I studied this morning in Mosiah. After the sons of Mosiah realized they were being punks and repented, they all wanted to serve the Lord and bring the gospel to the Lamanites. This is super huge, you guys, because previously, the sons of Mosiah put all their efforts into destroying the church, and now they see how wrong they are and they want everyone else to feel the blessings the gospel has had in their life. I realized this morning how much I am like the sons of Mosiah. While I have never went around destroying the church, we all have our own personal trials that have taught us how important the gospel is in our lives. As Sister Layton and I are teaching our investigators, I have had this overwhelming desire to share all I know with these people! I know with a surety that what I have has made me so happy and I just want to share it with others so that they can have the comfort and guidance they need to get through the tough things in their life. It's crazy, but it's real, the love I have for these people that I've known barely a month. 

I know that the Lord has given me this opportunity to love these people so that I can have a small taste of the love Has has for me, and for everyone else. I love you all so much and it was awesome to Skype with my family yesterday. I hope all you missionary moms out there had just as awesome of an experience. Our families are so important to us as missionaries, and we greatly appreciate your love and support. 

Love you all!

Signing out, 
Sista Pipkin <3

Monday, May 4, 2015

Exchanges and MORE Injuries

I know what you're thinking.
MORE injuries? Really, Karen? 
Yeah. Really. Although they aren't severe, THEY STILL HURT, OK?
So we'll start with the first one. The other night, I took my earrings out before I went to bed, but I was too lazy to walk all the way over to my dresser to put them away, so I just set them on the floor next to my bed. Well, later, I was making my bed and STEPPED. ON. MY. EARRING. It went IN my foot, guys. In it. Like, what the heck is this crap. Whatever. The day before, I punched myself in the mouth with my toothbrush. How? I don't even know, but my gums are swollen from it and it's just real neat, I tell ya. 

But hey. The rest of this week wasn't too shabby. Before I maimed myself, we had some awesome lessons. We have this couple that is investigating the church. He's from Kenya and she's from Ethiopia, so they're really neat! They both seem really interested and we're hoping to get them on date soon! We'd invited them to church yesterday, but they texted us and said there wasn't room. I'm not sure what that means, but whatever. We're shooting for a meeting with them this week and another invitation to church. We also have a less active that we've been working with to reach her goal of getting sealed in the temple and she's making progress! Yay! We love her! We challenged another less active to start reading the Book of Mormon again and that night, she texted us saying she'd listened to ten chapters on the Lds tools app! Yay! Such progress with these awesome people!
We're really praying for our investigators, though. They are all going through a lot of hard things right now, with financial issues and family issues and it's been really hard to help them. We expressed our sorrow for them and told them that the gospel will be able to help them deal with these things. We're not sure what else to do beyond that because their struggles are more than we are able to help them with. 

This week, I went on my first exchanges! So fun. I went to Taber with Sister Baer, and Sister Layton stayed in Lethbridge with Sister Kolkova. It was really neat to see other ways to do things and to experience a different area. We visited a lot of less active members in Taber, and then had supper with their ward mission leader and a recent convert. Such sweet people. 

We've done lots of service this week, helping members clean and pack so they can move, and we also helped a sister in our ward throw a birthday party for her three year old! We got some really awesome Spider-Man cupcakes out of it!

I would now like to plead with each of you who are reading this. Throughout the week, we have visited with people who have told us so many negative experiences they have had with members of the church who have treated them poorly, resulting in them not wanting to return to church. Brothers and Sisters, please. You. Cannot. Do. That. Be aware of how you treat people! Be aware of the things you say and the tone with which you say them! Be kind to others, serve them! These brothers and sisters of ours are in need of love and acceptance, and we need to give it to them! I was reading in Mosiah, and I came across the scripture mastery verse from seminary, Mosiah 2:17. "And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God." This really stuck out to me because we are always looking for ways to serve God. And the only way to do that is to serve His children, to love them, to show kindness and acceptance to them. So please, I urge you all, to look for ways that you can reach out to someone this week, to try and make someone's day a little happier. And you know what? They might not receive you too well. And that's fine. Do it anyways.
I love you all and I know you are all doing the best you can. Thank you so much for your love and support, it means so much to me. Except, Jacob Pipkin, how many times do I have to yell at you before you email me, you rotten little brother. Come on. 
I know I'm here in Canada for a reason, and I've seen it in the way these people have impacted me in the four short weeks I've been here. 
Signing out, 
Sister Pipkin <3